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Theophostic Prayer and SRA

Critic’s concern: Is the validity of what Ed Smith has taught concerning SRA valid or is there room to question what he believes concerning this issue?  

Ed Smith’s response: I actually teach very little about SRA today. There are only a few pages in the newer training concerning this issue. However, I do believe that the SRA phenomenon is real in that I have worked with too many people with MUCH circumstantial evidence that makes it impossible for me to believe otherwise.  However, I no longer hold any opinion as to the frequency, its widespread nature or what is true or what is not.  Nevertheless, the issue you have raised here has nothing to do with the value, reliability, efficacy, or credibility of this ministry process.  Theophostic Prayer Ministry as a process is not dependent at any level because of what I believe about the validity of SRA memory.  A person can completely deny SRA and still use the prayer process TPM. 

My ministry with people who report SRA is my experience and thus the grid through which I understand it.  Nevertheless, I have also taken a very balanced approach to dealing with this issue in the last many years. Most people have one either two extremes; it does not exist at all or that it is a global conspiracy ushering in the Antichrist.  Please read the materials that have been released the last few years concerning what I say about this issue. A good overview is on the TPM website in FAQ.   Also, until you have had a few years and a few thousand hours of being in the trenches with these people you would be wise to not be too confident in what is real and what is not.


   Critic’s concern: Smith reports in a footnote (Healing Life’s Deepest Hurts, p. 181) that he has “spent a few thousand hours…over the last few years” with Satanic ritual abuse (SRA) victims. Would a reputable Christian or non-Christian counselor carry such a specialized caseload?  Would such a focused case load not hinder him from gaining experience in other areas of concern?  Would such a deficit of experience in dealing with a broader range of counseling issues cast doubt on Smith’s professional credibility?  

 Ed Smith’s response: It sounds as though you are saying that if a counselor or minister specializes in a specific field that he is not “reputable” and only is so if they are seeing all issues that trouble mankind. I think you may want to reconsider your reasoning here.  Many counselors limit their practice to a specific issue and do not take on all the issues that are out there.  At the same time there are ministers and counselors who maintain a more generalized practice. People specialize in working with addictive disorders, eating disorders, homosexuality, anger management, marital counseling, children, men’s issues, woman’s issues, sexual abuse, personality disorders etc.  And then again, some counselors see it all. I have offered much pastoral counseling all through out my ministry life to the general population found in the local church. I served in local churches for 17 years during college, during my seminary training and many years thereafter. I provided care for a sundry of multifaceted issues. However, when I moved to central Kentucky I specialized in one area predominately which was women who were struggling with the issues that accompany having been sexually abused as children.  Other counselors and pastors would specifically refer these type issues to me knowing that this was what I did.  I did this work for five years.  It was in this context that I reached a point of “burnout” in the work I was doing. This was also when I began doing what is now called Theophostic Prayer. It was during this time frame that I had a woman come to me that reported she was having memories that would be defined as SRA. I used TPM with her with good results. I shared this with others in my professional circle and found out that others where also working with people reporting similar experiences.  I told of the results I was having so some of these people referred their clients to me.  It was not too long before I was overrun with desperate deeply hurting people all reporting SRA memory.  I spent the next 7-8 years trying to keep my head above the surface.

 I was amazed at the numbers of people all around the world that contacted our office asking for help with SRA.  I was working many hours every week with many individuals as well as traveling to other locations and working conjointly with other therapist and pastors trying to help them with their case loads.  I now realize that I got in way over my head but also found myself in a double-bind in that these people are highly dysfunctional, unpredictable and often unsteady and required much care and attention.  It took me a long time to reduce the excessive load down to a more manageable schedule. 

When I said I worked the number of hours that I did it was no exaggeration.  My working specifically with this segment of the population was greatly beneficial for me.  I learned more about helping the deeply wounded during this time than in any other time in my ministry.   You said, “a deficit of experience in dealing with a broader range of counseling issues would cast doubt on Smith’s professional credibility.” I brought 17 years of church ministry and pastoral counseling into this time of my life.  I have always been surrounded by my peers in ministry as a pastoral counselor and work in relationship with them. 

The experience, though very taxing, was some of the most beneficially enriching years of my ministry life.  I learned more about the pain and suffering of people in those years than in any other time. Until you have worked with people reporting this level of trauma you are missing out on a life changing experience.  At the same time it was the most difficult years of my ministry life.






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